2 Samuel 15:13-16:4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
13 Then an informer came to David and reported, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
14 David said to all the servants with him in Jerusalem, “Get up. We have to flee, or we will not escape from Absalom! Leave quickly, or he will overtake us quickly, heap disaster on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15 The king’s servants said to the king, “Whatever my lord the king decides, we are your servants.” 16 Then the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But he left behind ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, and all the people followed him. They stopped at the last house 18 while all his servants marched past him. Then all the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and the people of Gath—six hundred men who came with him from there—marched past the king.
19 The king said to Ittai of Gath, “Why are you also going with us? Go back and stay with the new king since you’re both a foreigner and an exile from your homeland. 20 Besides, you only arrived yesterday; should I make you wander around with us today while I go wherever I can? Go back and take your brothers with you. May the Lord show you[a] kindness and faithfulness.”
21 But in response, Ittai vowed to the king, “As the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king is, whether it means life or death, your servant will be there!”
22 “March on,” David replied to Ittai. So Ittai of Gath marched past with all his men and the dependents who were with him. 23 Everyone in the countryside was weeping loudly while all the people were marching out of the city. As the king was crossing the Kidron Valley, all the people were marching past on the road that leads to the wilderness.
24 Zadok was also there, and all the Levites with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set the ark of God down, and Abiathar offered sacrifices[b] until the people had finished marching past. 25 Then the king instructed Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor with the Lord, he will bring me back and allow me to see both it and its[c] dwelling place. 26 However, if he should say, ‘I do not delight in you,’ then here I am—he can do with me whatever pleases him.”[d]
27 The king also said to the priest Zadok, “Look,[e] return to the city in peace and your two sons with you: your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. 28 Remember, I’ll wait at the fords[f] of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30 David was climbing the slope of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he ascended. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All of the people with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they ascended.
31 Then someone reported to David: “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.”
“Lord,” David pleaded, “please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”
32 When David came to the summit where he used to worship God, Hushai the Archite was there to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go away with me, you’ll be a burden to me, 34 but if you return to the city and tell Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, Your Majesty! Previously, I was your father’s servant, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can counteract Ahithophel’s counsel for me. 35 Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Report everything you hear from the palace to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. 36 Take note: their two sons are there with them—Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. Send them to tell me everything you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s personal adviser, entered Jerusalem just as Absalom was entering the city.
Ziba Helps David
16 When David had gone a little beyond the summit,[g] Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, was right there to meet him. He had a pair of saddled donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred bunches of summer fruit, and a clay jar of wine. 2 The king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?”
Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those to drink who become exhausted in the wilderness.”
3 “Where is your master’s grandson?” the king asked.
“Why, he’s staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied to the king, “for he said, ‘Today, the house of Israel will restore my grandfather’s kingdom to me.’”
4 The king said to Ziba, “All that belongs to Mephibosheth is now yours!”
“I bow before you,” Ziba said. “May I find favor with you, my lord the king!”